Hawkes Bay (Magpies) vs Bay of Plenty (Steamers)
The battle of the Bays is always a titanic tussle and this time there is added incentive as the Ranfurly Shield is up for grabs. Hawkes Bay (Magpies) is the current holders and Bay Of Plenty (Steamers) will be desperate to get their hands on the Shield as they last held it in 2004. The Magpies have been bolstered by the news that inspirational Captain Ash Dixon is back for his first start of the season. We know that they are very difficult to beat at home but if there is a team that can accomplish this it has to be the Steamers. They are the best running team in the competition with threats all over their backline. The Magpies will continue to look for forward dominance and if they are able to gain this then the Steamers are in for a long day at the office. The home teams biggest threat is their rolling maul and with Dixon back the Steamers need to be on high alert.
TIP: These teams have contrasting styles as the Steamers are prepared to attack from anywhere on the field while the Magpies prefer the structured set piece dominated plays. This makes for an intriguing contest and with the Ranfurly Shield up for grabs it will be interesting to see if the Steamers stick to their high risk rugby. They are blessed with great attackers like Sean Wainui, Emoni Narawa and Chase Tiatia. These guys are brilliant at counter attack and the Magpies kickers will need to be accurate otherwise that will spell danger for them. The Steamers showed in their last game that they too have great runners in Lolagi Visinia and Jonah Lowe. The battle between the backs will be high octane and exciting. The bookies have the Magpies as slight favourite but I’m going for the Steamers to cause the upset. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 2.10, Playabets 2.02 and Sunbet 1.96
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Hawkes Bay vs Bay of Plenty
- In the last five matches there have been four victories for the Bay of Plenty and one win for Hawkes Bay.
- In the eleven previous matches between these sides there has been only one away win.
- The last time the Bay of Plenty won away at Hawkes Bay was in 2016.
Latest results for both teams
Hawkes Bay won their last match 34-10 against Otago while Bay Of Plenty won 31-11 against Southland.
The Steamers so famed for their running game have actually got quite an impressive forward pack. The scrum will be a crucial area as the Magpies will look to win penalties at scrum time. Their tactic is often to kick for touch and use their driving maul to subdue the opposition. Both teams have excellent flyhalf’s and the one that can ignite his backline will come out on top. The home team does have an advantage with their loose trio but if the Magpies can get parity at least in the forwards then they will win. The desperation of the Steamers having not had the Shield since 2004 will drive them to victory. It will be a close contest but the bench of the away team looks stronger especially with a player like Otere Black coming on deep in the game. I predict Steamers win by 6 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
1 Pouri Rakete-Stones,2 Ash Dixon,3 Joe Apikotoa,4 Geoff Cridge,5 Tom Parsons,6 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u,7 Solomone Funaki,8 Devan Flanders,9 Ereatara Enari,10 Lincoln McClutchie,11 Jonah Lowe,12 Danny Toala,13 Stacey Ili,14 Neria Fomal, Lolagi Visinia
Bay of Plenty
1 Aidan Ross (C),2 Nathan Vella,3 Jeff Thwaites,4 Justin Sangster,5 Manaaki Selby-Rickit,6 Angus Scott-Young,7 Mitch Karpik,8 Whetukamokamo Douglas,9 Luke Campbell,10 Kaleb Trask,11 Onisi Ratave,12 Inga Finau,13 Sean Wainui,14 Emoni Narawa,15 Chase Tiatia
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Bay of Plenty victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Bay of Plenty handicap :
The complete odds on the Bay of Plenty handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+1.5) 1.90
Sunbet (+1.5) 1.90
Playabets (+0.5) 1.86
Predictions and Odds in details
The last few matches between these teams have been close affairs and this promises to be the same. The player that could turn a match on his own is Fijian Onisi Ratave as he has shown this season his almost unstoppable once he is in space. The Steamers have great wingers and they are not afraid to get the ball out wide. The Magpies will need to slow the game down as an open game will be in the visitors favour. In Chase Tiatia the Steamers have arguably the best counter attacker in the competition and he will look for any wayward kicking to punish the home team. There is excellent return for punters on the upset Bay of Plenty win but if you want a safe bet then I suggest taking them on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+1.5) 1.90, Sunbet (+1.5) 1.90 and Playabets (+0.5) 1.86
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.